I marched up to my third grade teacher, Miss Martin, before school began one morning to inform her that I'd decided to change my name. It was important that she knew how to address me.
To say that I was obsessed with Donny and Marie Osmond doesn't begin to express my wild love for these energetic, smiley entertainers.
I had the Barbie-like Donny & Marie dolls and TV studio (their showbiz version of a Barbie dream house). And a couple of gigantic, toothy head shots hung on my Holly Hobbie themed bedroom walls. I religiously watched the Donny & Marie television show, owned many of their records and was basically all-out B.A.N.A.N.A.S. about these two.
They even snuck into my oddball writing exercises.
Donny was also my very first celebrity crush. Honestly, I could barely contain my joy whenever I thought about that beautiful dark-eyed boy.
By claiming to be Marie, I figured it would somehow move me closer to the blissful Osmond universe where there was endless dancing, singing, ice skating and fabulous, colorful, glittery outfits!
However, my eight year old self did not consider how being Donny's sibling might mess up my chances with him, romantically speaking. I couldn't be bothered with those kinds of details though -- too busy dreaming of Donny and Marie's happy, sparkly world!
Here's another fun fact:
I was completely enamored with the Osmond's teeth.
Donny and Marie had the biggest, straightest, whitest teeth I had ever seen in my life. And I wanted choppers just like 'em!
Sometimes, while pretending to be Marie, I'd take Juicy Fruit gum and fill in the gaps between my teeth, so I could be more authentically Osmond.
In my bedroom behind closed doors, I'd sing and dance to their records while glancing at my magnificent, giant grin in the mirror.
Yep! I'm totally one of them! You can tell by the smile!
I recall the distinct look on Miss Martin's face when I told her my name was now "Marie Osmond". She blankly stared at me with raised eyebrows and didn't say a single word.
"Good," I thought.
I walked to my little seat in our classroom knowing that Miss Martin and I had an understanding.
My fantasy was finally happening!
Later that morning she asked me to do something and accidentally called me, "Dana".
Miss Martin forgot!
I ignored her and kept on with my activity. "I'm sure she'll remember in a minute."
But then Miss Martin immediately addressed me by the wrong name again!
I am not even gonna look at you, lady.
You'll figure it out.
"Dana!" Miss Martin loudly said for the third time, noting the consequences for not listening to the teacher.
And that, dear friends........was the end of my run as Marie Osmond.
Moral of the story:
Don't be Marie Osmond.
Unless it's fun!
Then be Marie Osmond whether the Miss Martins of the world go along with it or not!
Unless, of course, you're in third grade and are afraid of getting in trouble.
But hey! You can also be Marie Osmond when you're middle-aged because nobody's in charge of you anymore!
But by then you're probably just happy being yourself, which, hopefully, you find to be even more enjoyable.
And I do.
Because I didn't come here to be anyone else but me.